Travelers Cas. & Sur. CO. v. Century Indemn. Co., No. 3:16-cv- 170(JCH), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3445 (D. Ct. Jan. 10, 2017)

A Connecticut federal court denied a reinsurer’s motion for reconsideration concerning a discovery dispute. The cedent sought reimbursement for asbestos-related settlement funds that the cedent paid on behalf of a policyholder. In October 2016, the reinsurer filed a motion for leave to file a motion to compel production. The reinsurer sought to compel the cedent to respond to a set of requests for production seeking, inter alia, documents concerning the cedent’s settlement of the underlying claims. The reinsurer stated that the cedent failed to produce non-privileged portions of its outside coverage counsel files, and failed to live up to its contractual obligation to provide adequate information concerning the underlying settlement. The reinsurer argued that the parties’ reinsurance contracts obliged the cedent to provide certain information. The court denied the motion and the reinsurer sought reconsideration. 

In denying the motion, the court held that the motion for reconsideration presented no reasoning that could persuade the court to alter its decision. The reinsurer has not shown good cause for the belated nature of its motion to compel production, which it should have filed within 14 days of the ruling from which the relief was sought. The reinsurer argued that it had to review more than 30,000 documents, but, according to the court, did not give an adequate reason for why it had to review all the documents to determine that the cedent had not produced the outside coverage counsel files, when the cedent already had objected to the production of those files.

Furthermore, the court stated that the documents sought effectively went to the merits of what the underlying dispute was about. In its amended complaint, the cedent asked the court to declare, inter alia, that the reinsurer’s obligation to pay was not preconditioned on access to records. 

In the end, the court found that the reinsurer presented no intervening change of controlling law, no new evidence, manifest injustice or anything that would suggest that the court might reasonably be expected to alter its opinion.